Minestrone is a great way to warm up as the weather gets cold and at the same time, give yourself an extra serving of vegetables! The name minestrone literally means “big soup” – a well deserved name, because it can contain whatever vegetables you have on hand, as well as beans and pasta. It’s a hearty vegetable soup that improves with age as the flavors blend, so don’t worry about having leftovers!
3 tbsp (50 mL) olive oil
½ cup (125 mL) onions, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) carrots, diced
1 cup (250 mL) potatoes, diced
½ cup (125 mL) celery, sliced
3 tbsp (50 mL) flour
1 28 fl oz (800 mL) tin tomatoes,
drained and chopped
8 cups (2 L) chicken stock
¼ cup (50 mL) tomato paste
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
2 cloves garlic, minced (or to taste)
2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried basil
1 cup (250 mL zucchini, diced
1 14 fl oz (400 mL) tin red kidney
beans, including liquid from tin
1 cup (250 mL) pasta
½ cup (125 mL) frozen peas
Heat the oil for a few seconds over moderate heat in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, potatoes and celery and cook for a minute or so. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and toss so that they are evenly coated.
Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste and seasonings. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove one cup of the vegetables, purée them, then stir the purée back into the soup. Then add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
Allow the minestrone to cool before adjusting any seasonings. The flavors blend and improve with age.
Makes 12 servings